What a crazy time of the year Christmas is. The world is filled with mania and there is a feeding frenzy as the hunters stake out the bargains in town. Have you ever seen so much congested traffic on the road? That doesn’t help to my congested health much —bring on the Rennies and a decongestant.
Queue after queue dominates the shops and cafes. I stand in line and watch others in the queue give in to their impatience and drop out. It’s like a military exercise, negotiating and dodging on-comers in the hustle and bustle of the festive frenzy.
If ever there was a time to exercise your mindfulness practice this is it. Maybe Christmas has become crackers and if we don’t take care of ourselves we will crack up.
Here, therefore, are a few mindful tips for the season of goodwill.
On awakening, it’s of great benefit to start the day with some mindfulness practice. When you are brushing your teeth, let’s slow down and experience the experience of brushing your teeth, notice the bristles, the temperature of the water, the taste of the paste, the speed of which you brush and all the sensations that you sense with this simple exercise. Don’t be tidying up the bathroom when you're brushing your teeth—be present to the experience.
Take time to sit for at least ten minutes, notice contact with your seat, contact with the floor, adapt a dignified upright posture. Allow yourself to be curious, ask yourself, how do I know that I’m breathing, notice how you notice, notice the length of the breath and you breathe in and breathe out. Notice the quality of your breath, without judging or analysing.
Become aware of sounds within your room and expand your soundscape outside of the room. Noticing sounds without judging, sounds appear and fade away.
This simple practice will be your armour for the assaults of the festive frenzy. When shopping, take time to pause and catch your breath. Remember to wear a smile on your face as you face the stampedes.
‘Less is more’ is my motto at this time of year. Acting too quickly and without due diligence, focus and attention will result in avoidable mistakes and require even more time to complete the task. Too much haste results in less overall speed.
Take timeout for a mindful cuppa. Sense the warmth of the cup in your hand, the heat of the tea on your lips, taste the tea that has come all the way from China, and how the whole world comes together for this moment.
A very mindful Christmas! Our Pre-kindergarten class @fmgilbert learning about the importance of practicing mindfulness and breathing techniques. @SEL_IISD @IrvingISD @IISDCounseling— Liz Munoz (@LizmunozGilbert) December 10, 2021
Ms. Perizzolo’s class are the cutest when breathing like Santa! 🎅 pic.twitter.com/XL9M64nDFz
The tea grew in the sunshine and rain and without the elements there would be no tea leaves. Think of the worker who picked the leaves and of his or her family who benefit from the money made from his or her labour. The driver who transports the tea to the factory, the factory workers.
The ship transporting the tea to Belfast and all the crew on the ship. Our dockers here in Belfast unloading the tea cargo, the purchasers of the tea which is then delivered to the cafe.
The cafe staff knowing exactly how to make the tea with hot water and now the humble journey of the tea is presented to you to taste and enjoy. A lot of people are helped by the humble tea leaves which refresh you to continue with your day.
Take time to enjoy the festive sounds, from carol singers to the sound of music from the shops. Notice the Christmas decorations, the lights, the tinsel, and the many colours.
Transform the military expedition into a mindful experience of joy and remember it’s the season to be jolly.